World leaders react to US Capitol building riots

World leaders condemned violent scenes in Washington after supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday.

The riot forced the suspension of a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Many leaders called for peace and an orderly transition of power, describing what happened as “horrifying” and an “attack on democracy”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said those who stormed the US legislature were “attackers and rioters” and that she felt “angry and also sad” after seeing pictures from the scene.

She told a meeting of German conservatives: “I regret very much that President Trump has still not admitted defeat, but has kept raising doubts about the elections.”

China meanwhile attempted to draw comparisons between the rioters who entered Congress to try and subvert the US election result and pro-democracy protesters who stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council last year.

Russia blamed the “archaic” US electoral system and the politicisation of the media for Wednesday’s unrest in Washington.

“The electoral system in the United States is archaic, it does not meet modern democratic standards, creating opportunities for numerous violations, and the American media have become an instrument of political struggle,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

For his part, UN Secretary-General António Guterres was “saddened” by the events at the US Capitol, his spokesman said.

The Venezuelan government, which the US does not recognise as legitimate, said “with this regrettable episode, the United States suffers the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression”.

In statements on Twitter, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández and Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera also condemned the scenes in Washington. Mr Piñera said Chile “trusts in the solidity of US democracy to guarantee the rule of law”.

In Japan, one of America’s closest allies and partners, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government hoped for a “peaceful transfer of power” in the United States.